Rabbi Dr. Moshe Dror
The association of light with the Divine is an ancient tradition. It is perhaps the most universal metaphor of light. The image of light has an ancient pedigree indeed. From the Baal of Semitic paganism, the Egyptian Ra, The god Mazda of the Persian religion—all are personifications of the light of the sun or the sun’s beneficial action for humanity. Plato also dealt with the “Sun” as the ideal- the Good. This idea passed on to the Neo-Platonists and entered the Christian tradition through St. Augustine and then through the Pseudo-Dionysus, who we mentioned before with Abbot Suger who constantly praised God as lumen- fire, as the fountain of Light. In the writings of the mystics, light is always a metaphor for spiritual realities.
As Umberto Ecco reminds us (from “Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages”; Yale university Press, 1986, “the Aesthetics of Light”)
”that light was thus the principle of all beauty, not only because it is delightful to the senses, but also because it is through light that all the variations of color and luminosity, both in heaven and earth, come into being. Bonaventure considered light under three aspects: there was lux, lumen, and splendor.
Lux- was light in itself, light as the ubiquitous origin of all motion, which penetrated to the very bowels of the earth to form its minerals and sow the seeds of its life.
Lumen- was the light that travels through space, borne by a transparent medium.
Splendor or Color- referred to light thought of as something reflected by opaque bodies that it struck against.”
Light, although it was something physical, it was primarily and fundamentally a metaphysical reality.
This power of the magic and mystery of light was so significant that Abbot Suger, as he designed the cathedral, saw to it that the stained glass and windows were so placed and decorated that they allowed the light to filter into the building in such a way that the very experience of the aesthetics would be like an ecstatic experience of God.
This power is still there. Anyone who has ever been in any of the great Gothic Cathedrals can still feel it—even after 1,000 years.
Here we can see that light is associated with the minerals of the earth –Silicon. Also there are many designations and aspects of light. It is important to remember all of this because it is light that is the basis of our current world of photonics of Cyberia.